Benefits of Volunteering: How to Give Back in the New YearPosted By HarborChase on January 1, 2023
Every January, people focus on their New Year’s resolutions – goals and achievements they work toward in order to improve upon a specific aspect of their life. According to a 2021 study, the most popular resolutions were exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants). With the clean slate of a brand new year, it’s the perfect time to improve yourself physically, but why not pick a resolution that can benefit others too?
While choosing a resolution that revolves around the aesthetics of health (i.e., losing weight, eating healthy) can be enticing and beneficial, there are other ways to improve your health while lending a hand to others in need.
This New Year, consider forming your resolution around volunteering in your community. HarborChase is known for our luxury senior living communities, and we encourage residents to get involved in their local communities to give back at every opportunity. We’re sharing the benefits of volunteering, so you have all the information you need to start your year off on a great note!
Improve Your Sense of Purpose
Regularly volunteering is a wonderful way to get involved in your community, leading to people counting on your services and abilities. This boosts your sense of responsibility and purpose while giving your day-to-day life an extra social benefit as well.
A study by Wharton College found that older adults who volunteer feel more capable, useful, and confident when it came to accomplishing tasks. Unfortunately, a lack of self-confidence has become an epidemic among seniors due to the prevalence of ageism and life-altering events like retirement, bereavement, and health issues. Volunteering contributes to healthy aging by enhancing life satisfaction and purpose, allowing self-confidence to soar!
Another benefit of volunteering is the formation of inter-generational relationships. Many young adults are encouraged to volunteer in order to improve college applications or take part in giving back through extracurricular activities. Even if your volunteer work doesn’t involve working with younger people, volunteering offers a unique opportunity to get to know younger generations in your community. This is a great chance to create friendships despite generational differences and provide mentorship and meaningful advice.
Combat Isolation by Giving Back
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) found that over one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and almost one-quarter of adults aged 65 and older are considered socially isolated. Volunteering allows you to boost your social engagement and create friendships, whether by meeting fellow volunteers or meeting the people your chosen organization is benefitting.
The Corporation for National and Community Service found that individuals who engaged in volunteering activities were less likely to develop depression due to the social support that was encouraged through their organizations.
Physical activity is crucial for fostering a healthy lifestyle as we age; in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends about 150 minutes of moderate activity each week for adults over the age of 65.
Whether you spend your time walking dogs for the Humane Society, restocking shelves at your local food bank, or helping build homes for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering is a great way to stay active while ensuring that you’re giving back to those in need in your community.
Tips for Volunteering
If you’re ready to utilize your valuable skills and give back, here are some tips for kicking off your new year through volunteering:
- Make sure you don’t over-commit at first. Time management is key, and it’s better to devote a few hours a week rather than cutting back hours over time and creating a sense of instability.
- Think about your passions and find an organization near and dear to your heart. For example, if you’re an animal lover, ask your local animal shelter if they need extra help. If you enjoy working with children, find a mentorship program.
- Be prepared to be interviewed. Some volunteer positions will have waiting lists, so just because you’re willing to offer your free time, don’t expect to be accepted immediately. Many organizations are also careful during the screening process, so be sure to speak from the heart.
We encourage you to visit HarborChase.com to learn how our luxury senior living communities can provide you or someone you love with the maintenance-free lifestyle you deserve. Our support, services, and amenities make it easy for residents to rediscover their passions or find new interests, including reaping the benefits of volunteering!
Categories: HarborChase Senior Living